One Hundred Heirs Property Landowners Targeted for Direct Intervention

The Federation will strengthen African-American land-ownership and increase wealth for many families by addressing major land loss issues at its inaugural heirs property conference

Atlanta, GA- For decades black families have watched their land auctioned on courthouse steps, forced to sell against their will, or left-out of helpful USDA programs and services. The Federation’s inaugural F ORWARD 2020: NATIONAL HEIRS PROPERTY CONFERENCE, will be held in Atlanta, Georgia, December 4-6, 2019 and offer the opportunity for experts to work with 100 at-risk landowners to address one of the primary reasons for land loss and underutilization- heirs property. Heirs Property is created when a landowner dies without a will, or other form of estate plan to transfer ownership of his/her land to another; subsequently, heirs property owners are left without clear title to the land they own . Today, it is estimated that over 60% of all black-owned land is heirs property.

FORWARD 2020, a “boot camp” style event, will offer Master Classes taught by experts and landowners will meet one-on-one with resource professionals. This intensive, two-day conference will be a one-stop shop that will provide heirs with everything they need to create a path FORWARD!

The National Heirs Property Conference will feature two educational tracks; Track one will focus on how heirs property owners can kick start their efforts to resolve their heirs property issues and unlock their land’s wealth potential. Track two will focus on professionals who work with heirs property owners. Track two will include train-the-trainer educational sessions and Master Classes to sharpen skills and share peer-to-peer learning. The highlight of Track two will be a comprehensive workshop on heirs property legislation and regulations contained in the 2018 Farm Bill. 

“This conference will be a game changer for many farm families with heirs property. It is intentionally designed to empower heirs property owners with the strategies and resources to clear title and make their land a wealth building asset,” said Monica Rainge, Director of Land Retention and Advocacy at the Federation.

For over 52 years, the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund has assisted heirs property owners in land retention and sustainable development. The Federation’s history of using successful land retention strategies has focused on outreach, education, legal and technical assistance to resolve heirs property issues such as estate planning and developing alternative ownership models including corporations, cooperatives, trusts, limited liability companies and intra-family buy-outs .  

Persons interested in attending FORWARD 2020 should go to the organization’s website at or call the office in Atlanta at 404/765-0991 for additional information.
The Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund assists limited resource farmers, landowners, and cooperatives across the South with business planning, debt restructuring, marketing expertise, and a whole range of other services to ensure the retention of land ownership and cooperatives as a tool for social and economic justice. The overall mission is to reverse the trend of black land loss and be a catalyst for the development of self supporting communities via cooperative economic development, land retention and advocacy.